The skin I used to live in was stretched so tightly over me.
But they liked me in that skin
They supported me in that skin
I was accepted in that skin.
But there was no space for me in that skin.
It was my too-tight outfit.
I was screaming into that skin.
It held all my apologies. All my failings. All my burned out beauty. Scorched. Cinders of embers of ashes of nothing.
All razed. All reduced.
I was gone.
But they loved me in that skin. They said I was theirs.
But I was stifled, suffocated, silenced.
And they didn’t mind that I couldn’t breathe. As long as I smiled.
So I did. And sometimes I laughed. And sometimes I believed it. Believed me.
I think maybe they knew.
They’d hear my jagged inhale. Sounds of a serrated breath. But then they’d look away.
Because who wants to witness
A masquerade of misery.
Look away. Look away. Look away.
I asked myself,
Who might you be
Outside of this skin?
What if you undressed yourself
So I did.
Now I have new skin.
I am not squatting in this skin.
I have my own place
To move and breathe and be.
I am here.
I am home.
Photo credit: Leon Cato Photography